KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14 — In an effort to diversify its business venture, Consortium Zenith BUCG is allocating RM800 million to position itself to become a profitable and sustainable freight railway operator.
Its chairman, Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli said the consortium is awaiting approval from the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) for a licence to expand the rail network used by Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd’s (KTM) cargo services.
“The freight business railway is one of the cheapest transportation for the purpose of industrial, business and travelling as it provides efficient logistics in view of no traffic constraints.
“The railway services would not provide door-to-door services and the consortium will be working with related companies to set up a cargo depot to provides related facilities for better access,” he told Bernama TV in an interview.
Asked why he is venturing into the freight business, he said, “Well, coincidentally, I’m actually looking for another business venture which is to do a freight rail.”
Zarul Ahmad said he received the support from the Ministry of Transport to obtain the licence and to be another rail operator besides KTM as the government mulled to introduce multiple rail operators in the country.
“So, I’ll be the second as right now KTM does not have the capacity to expand due to financial constraints.
“I’m here to provide (the services) and I’m not asking a single sen or grant from the government.
“I’m coming in to invest about RM800 million into the freight business,” he said, adding that the consortium would be working with SPAD and focusing on the lucrative freight business.
SPAD was reported to be undertaking a study on the viability of building a railway line, stretching about 100 km, for cargo services to Port Klang.
The new route, linking Serendah to Port Klang, is to help divert cargo traffic from the main KTM freight line between Rawang and Seremban, which is currently facing a bottleneck.